Afternoon Reception to thank Supporters and Sponsors of Foodbank Queensland
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests as are you all. It gives Kaye and me great pleasure to welcome you to Government House this afternoon.
As Patron of Foodbank Queensland, and as Governor of Queensland, it is very important for me at once to say to you all, a whole-hearted ‘Thank you’.
Since its inception, Foodbank – “Ian Brusasco’s” Foodbank, was startling in its simplicity: take what would otherwise be wasted and distribute it in alleviation of disadvantage. When I first – really too late, turned my mind to these important issues, I was just shocked by the amount of waste, daily, of produce which could advantage our less resourced fellow Queenslanders. Foodbank directly addresses that challenge: Foodbank actually delineated the challenge!
Early after my appointment to this Office, in fact as I am reminded on 12 November 2014, I visited Foodbank’s depot at Morningside, at the invitation of Ian Brusasco and David Muir, who administers the philanthropy of the late Clem Jones. At Morningside I met absolutely wonderful volunteers.
A privilege of being Governor is coming to know more of community initiatives of which you had previously been only hazily aware.
I was frankly blown away by what I learned that day of Foodbank: helping so many people, so many of them children.
As a child I was taught epigrammatically – as many of us no doubt were, that “wilful waste is woeful want”. How wonderful that Foodbank transforms frankly shameful waste, into something really positive and worthwhile – the relief of poverty and disadvantage.
The extent of that disadvantage in our State is startling: as many as 400,000 people experiencing food insecurity, half of them are children; more than half a million Queenslanders living below the poverty line – more than half a million of a State population of 4.9 million – one in 10 living below the poverty line…
But we are, as we hope to be regarded, compassionate human beings, exemplified glowingly by our guests today, people who strive to match that community need through personal generosity – generosity of time, generosity of resources, generosity of caring.
And thanks to that generosity, last financial year, a staggering 20 million meals were distributed throughout Queensland, with at least as many again to be distributed this year.
While these outcomes speak of a robust and focussed organisation, we acknowledge today that Foodbank continues to extend its outreach and advocacy in increasingly vibrant and progressive ways.
And so, next week, Foodbank Ambassador, Ms Natalie Gruzlewski – who joins us today – will help Foodbank launch their 'Warm up to Winter' campaign. I sincerely wish that campaign every success.
I also extend a special acknowledgement to Mr Michael Powell, a Friend of Foodbank also here today. I join in wishing Michael the very best as he attempts in August to become only the 6th amputee to swim the English Channel, in doing so raising funds for the School Breakfast Program. What a truly wonderful commitment!
Ladies and gentlemen, when we went to school, it was after an adequate breakfast at home, sometimes reluctantly consumed. But that was the norm. How times have changed.
Once again I thank you all most warmly for your support of Foodbank Queensland, this amazing endeavour achieving such beneficial outcomes.
The great service you render to our State must be acknowledged, and it is Kaye’s and my great honour to do so today on behalf of all Queenslanders.